The year of 1862 was critical in a process by which a land larger than many nations was transformed from one civilization to another. But the process was not a classic conquest easily recorded in history books. Rather, it was a slow "digestion" of over 20 million hectares of territory by one civilization, accompanied by moments of true genocide or "ethnic cleansing" during long periods of high death rates for one group and high birth rates and immigration rates for the other group. But this was sufficiently gradual that most historians did not record it on their lists of wars and other organized conflicts. I will discuss some very divergent views on what happened then. One reason they are so divergent is because the conflict of 1862 and its aftermath were extremely complex, with massacres on both sides, and with Indians working on both sides. Some whites fought to exterminate the Indians while others risked their lives to save them, and vice versa. Half-breeds of many kinds were caught in the middle, trying to survive a dramatic civilizational transformation occurring all around them. The result: In 1800, the territory now called Minnesota was 99%+ Indian, and by 1900 it was 99%+ whites of European descent.
"Dakota Land in 1862, A Genocide Forgotten: How Civilizational Transformation can Get Lost in the Fading Rate of History,"
Comparative Civilizations Review: Vol. 59
, Article 6.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/ccr/vol59/iss59/6